Music Maker – A Camera-based Music Making Tool for Physical Rehabilitation
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The therapeutic effects of playing music are being recognized increasingly in the field of rehabilitation medicine. People with physical disabilities, however, often do not have the motor dexterity needed to play an instrument. We developed a camera-based human-computer interface called "Music Maker" to provide such people with a means to make music by performing therapeutic exercises. Music Maker uses computer vision techniques to convert the movements of a patient's body part, for example, a finger, hand, or foot, into musical and visual feedback using the open software platform EyesWeb. It can be adjusted to a patient's particular therapeutic needs and provides quantitative tools for monitoring the recovery process and assessing therapeutic outcomes. We tested the potential of Music Maker as a rehabilitation tool with six subjects who responded to or created music in various movement exercises. In these proof-of-concept experiments, Music Maker has performed reliably and shown its promise as a therapeutic device.